Penn State students condemn message of Milo Yiannopoulos’ ‘Pray the Gay Away’ event

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11/02/2021

“Pray the Gay Away.” These words, plastered on large posters above the face of British alt-right political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos, greeted visitors at Penn State’s HUB-Robeson Center on Oct. 25 — and again on Thursday. Featured in prominent display cases in the HUB, tacked to poster boards, announcement forums and walls throughout campus buildings, and shared and reshared across students’ social media platforms, the posters advertise the Wednesday event by Uncensored America, one of Penn State’s student-run organizations. When Penn State’s Queer and Trans People of Color Secretary Kyra Gines saw the posters for the first time, she said she thought the event was a performance or a satirical act with theatrically homophobic characters. But Gines (junior-Spanish) said her attitude quickly changed when she verified the news and confirmed that Yiannopolous was scheduled to visit campus. All at once, Gines said her tentative amusement was extinguished, replaced by concern for the safety of the QTPOC community amid “what’s going to inevitably be violence and discomfort across campus.”

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